SUBSCRIPT: Board adding injury to insult atop injury in 'Certified Substitute Teacher Selection Event' event at UIC

How about “Sing for your supper and beg for your job” as sung by the famous duo of Terry Mazany and Alicia Winckler? The Chicago Board of Education's massive bureaucracy still has a sense of humor. More than six months after former “Chief Executive Officer” Ron Huberman purged more than 1,300 veteran teachers under the pretext of a budget emergency, while retaining inexperienced and charter school teachers across the vast school system, CPS is now inviting the certified teachers to compete to become substitute teachers in the same system where they worked, often for decades, as regular classroom teachers.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Human Capital Officer" Alicia Winckler (above right at the October meeting of the Chicago Board of Education), like her counterpart Chief Financial Officer Diana Ferguson (above left) has no teaching, education, or public school administrative experience or qualifications. According to CEO Ron Huberman and the members of the Chicago Board of Education who hired Winckler in December 2009, Winckler's lack of teaching qualifications made her the perfect pick to become "Chief Human Capital Officer" for the third largest school system in the USA. Prior to coming to Chicago's public schools, Winckler was with Sears Holdings, where she reportedly helped organize the "synergy" when Sears acquired K-Mart. In Capitalspeak, "synergizing" means getting rid of people, er., "Reducing Human Capital Expenses." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. In a recent letter sent to displaced teachers, CPS announced the "Certified Substitute Teacher Fair", known (wonderfully) as the "Chicago Public School (CPS) Certified Substitute Teacher Selection Event". What do you expect, really, from an outfit that has a "Chief Human Capital Officer" — who was recruited for her work in public education about a year ago after "synergizing" the K-Mark/ Sears deal — and with a straight face talks about the people who work in the vast system as "Human Capital"?

The announcement for this selection event was sent to hundreds of veteran teachers. It reads as follows:

Dear __________ (name of veteran teacher sometimes appears in this space)...

Congratulations! We are pleased to invite you to attend a Chicago Public School (CPS) Certified Substitute Teacher Selection Event! The event will focus on identifying high quality, certified instructors to join the Chicago Public Schools Day-to-Day Substitute Teacher Pool. This pool is regularly accessed by principals looking to fill regular teaching positions as well.

Due to an overwhelming response, we have decided to host several events over a two day period and ask that you strictly adhere to the time assigned to you. We request that you bring a current resume and a copy of your transcripts (unofficial transcripts acceptable).

You have been invited to attend the Certified Substitute Teacher Selection Event on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. at the UIC Forum located at 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois 60607. Please arrive on time, as interviews will begin promptly with an allotted time of 20 minutes per applicant. Only one interview per applicant will be conducted, if you are accepted, you will be sent a formal offer letter to join the district as a day-to-day substitute teacher available to all schools within CPS.

Transportation & Parking Information:

Various parking facilities are available for a fee. Lot 5 is located one block northwest of the UIC Forum at 1132 S. Morgan. The Maxwell Street Parking Structure is located one block southeast of the UIC Forum at 701 W. Maxwell St. Please note, if no attendant is on duty cash may be required. For more information, please visit http://www. uic. edu/depts/oee/parking.htm.

The UIC Forum is easily accessible by public transportation. With stops nearby, CTA buses, rapid transit and Metra trains provide convenient alternatives to driving. For specific information, call the RTA 312-836-7000 or visit

Additional Information:

Offer letters will include specific information for completing the required on-boarding processes, including drug and tuberculosis screens, fingerprinting and a background check, and any other Board of Education approved requirements. All applicants will incur costs associated to all on-boarding processes. If you are not selected to join the day-to-day substitute pool, CPS will notify you in writing.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please email Substitute Services at Thank you for your interest in becoming a day-to-day substitute teacher with Chicago Public Schools.


Angela Simpson

Substitute Services Manager


January 19, 2011 at 7:43 AM

By: Carol Kaim

substitute letter

I received my letter from CPS yesterday in regards to joining the day to day sub pool. My letter was different, however, I was not invited to the job fair but I was told that I could bring my documentation to the Elizabeth St office. I have until January 28th to complete all my paperwork and testing (TB, criminal background, and fingerprinting) or the offer is null and void.

I taught in CPS for over 10 years and received superior ratings. This is an interesting(?) way to be treated.

January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

By: this is a insult

CPS human resources

Does the CTU know how CPS is treating illegally displaced teachers? They have ALL of our transcripts, but how would anyone there know?

January 24, 2011 at 10:55 AM

By: Displaced Teacher

CPS Human Resources

I got the email right before Christmas and ignored it. CPS has dehumanized us. We have been degraded to less than a recent graduate with ZERO experience. This is MORE insult to us and the teaching profession.

CPS has screwed the tenured teachers and we should all UNITE and SUE CPS!!!

January 24, 2011 at 3:56 PM

By: Jean R Schwab

Human Resources

You are right. CPS has shown disrespect towards tenured teachers because they can.

It's not right but it is what it is.

May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

By: Kathy Jacobs


The joy/curse of being a new teacher is that you don't know what you don't know.

February 27, 2012 at 9:29 PM

By: Mattie Barnesus

The Death of Educators at CPS

Business professionals can no better run an educational institution than a English major can run an electrical engineer department.

People who have never taught in the kind of environment they are trying to direct can do little to help the students. I believe their motive is to prove they (top administration) know more about educating students than the people in the trenches (teachers, deaand deans, counselors and principles, TDCP). They impose impossible on the trenchers "must do's" that do not augment teaching and learning. Rather the (must do's) suck time from TDCPs that they should be using to self monitor: reflect, collaborate with colleagues,create, prepare materials for different learning styles and read current professional publications related to their area of concentration. Not to mention teachers are not provided materials needed to run a classroom. Students don't have textbook; teachers are requires to provide students with materials that must be copied, collated, and stapled on one department copier that's is often not working or lacking paper. Just a few impossible Must Do's.

February 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

By: Kati Gilson

displaced teachers

CTU does have resources and support for displaced teachers. You need to let them know how you are being treated. Also, join CORE, we are trying to reach out to all of you. We need to fight this ridiculous system the demeans the educators who service our children. As Karen says, "Fear turns to anger, anger turns to action" It's time for action!

February 28, 2012 at 9:13 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

CPS Fetishes: Power Point and Clichés are Main Qualifications for CPS Executive Jobs

I just couldn't help noticing when I read Kati Gilson's appropriate comment here the photograph with the original Subscript (which is from 13 months ago). The people in the photograph are either gone or "rebranded." The only one still with CPS is former Sears Holdings person Alicia Winckler.

At the time of this report, Winckler was "Chief Human Capital Officer" for CPS.

When Rahm took over CPS, Winckler stayed, but was "rebranded. Last summer Winckler's department became "Talent" and now her title is "Chief Talent Officer." (Which is not to be confused with an FNG Rahm's people hired from Kansas City: Steve Gering in "Chief Talent Development Officer"... so we've got "talent" everywhere today).

Next to Winckler in the photograph from January 2011 is Diana Ferguson, who at the time was "Chief Financial Officer." Ferguson left when Rahm's people moved in, and was ultimately replaced by another out-of-town FNG (after a different out of town FNG had served as "Interim CFO for about six months).

In the back is Opel Walls, who had been "Chief Procurement Officer."

She's now long gone, too.

In fact, since Rahm installed the Billionaires Board and Jean-Claude Brizard atop CPS, every major post has been filled on the basis of lack of knowledge or experience in Chicago's schools and teaching children. Brizard's repetition of cliché is by today legendary, even among those who still let him get away with each new carefully scripted (and controlled) lie.

But what are we looking at here? Power Point and vacuousness — and the fact that Chicago's media let all these guys get away with this.

Part of the "business model" being pushed for the top executive ranks at CPS is a mindless notion that anyone who can read a spreadsheet and give good Power Point can run a school system.

None of them knows anything about Chicago or Chicago's schools, but, what the heck? All they have to do is Power Point and Prattle, ignoring whatever facts might be contained in those ridiculous fetishes.

And Power Point is their Porno fetish as much as whips and chains are to others they adore — they put up at each Board meeting. After checking out the last 30 people they hired for the top executive ranks at CPS since Rahm took over, it's clear the three qualifications for Top Dog jobs at CPS under the Reign of Rahm are:

1. No teaching experience

2. Gives Good Power Point

3. Repeats endlessly scripted teachers bashing and union busting talking points, and

4. Complete lack of knowledge about Chicago, our history, our classrooms, communities and schools

It's an Orwellian masterpiece, really.

At the time of the photograph above, Winckler had been at CPS one year; Ferguson less than six months, and others equally little.

If the USA had promoted officers in our armed forces based on blathering ignorance of the realities of combat and leadership at each level, we'd all be speaking German today and marching in goose step. But during the Reign of Rahm, that's OK, as is the fascist "Race to the Top" eugenics basis these people prattle and practice.

October 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

By: Gwewndolyn Lee

The disapperance of public education

I sit hear with heavy heart and moist eyes witnessing the crumbling of basic education for all in America. When all the dust settles and we realize what has taken place who will we blame then? My heart goes out to all educators (and the like) who have been discarded like trash.

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